Transcript Medieval England
“The Middle Ages”
• • Called this because it’s just the period stuck between the collapse of the Roman Empire (around 470 AD) and the Renaissance (15 th Century) Often seen as having nothing of importance to offer in terms of advancement in society.
“The Middle Ages”
• • • Also called “The Dark Ages” because of a perceived lack of literacy and slow advance of learning.
This is an inaccurate assumption.
While it’s true that the common person was illiterate, a great deal of knowledge was preserved in monasteries, particularly in the British isles.
• • • Prior to Roman colonization, the British isles were settled by Celtic tribes such as the Britons, Picts, and Scots They spoke various forms of Gaelic Tribes often fought amongst themselves for territory and power
• • Most tribes were pagan and their religious leaders were called druids Some had been converted to Christianity under the Romans but the new Christian theology was often mixed with the older pagan tradition
• • When the Romans annexed Britain, they brought a great deal of stability Although they were at times brutal rulers, Roman governors could easily repel other groups trying to invade the islands
• • • After the fall of the Roman Empire, mass chaos ensued Celtic tribes were left virtually powerless to protect themselves against invaders Seafaring warriors from the area of Europe which is now northern Germany and Denmark began attacking the Britons
• • These tribes (Angles, Saxons, and Jutes) were successful in pushing the native Britons out of most of England Celtic tribes retreating to the areas around the edges: Wales, Scotland, and Ireland (which accounts for differences in language and culture today)
• • • • The Anglo-Saxons practiced a different pagan faith than the Celts.
Their primary god was named Odin and their gods myths are similar to those of the Vikings Missionaries from Ireland converted many to Christianity in the 6 th century But again, in those early years theologies blend together and overlap
• • • With the rise of Christianity in England, literacy rose again.
People, especially monks, wrote about religious subject, mostly in Latin Some poetry is written in Old English, the language of the Anglo-Saxons and was then copied and preserved by monks
• • Anglo-Saxon poetry was originally an oral tradition It would be memorized by